Thousands expected at Women's March in West Palm Beach

March begins at Meyer Amphitheater noon Saturday
Posted at 7:43 PM, Jan 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-20 23:12:48-05

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to fill the streets of Washington D.C for the Women's March. Nearly 700 people from Palm Beach County will be there.

But for those who couldn't make the trek to the nation's capital, local organizers will be staging their own Women's March of Palm Beach County on Saturday -- which has grown bigger than expected.

Peaceful protests started on Friday on Flagler Drive during the inauguration near president Trump's winter white house.

"I love this country and I feel so terrible so bad about what happened," said protest organizer Jody Gorran of the group Election in Distress. "I was hoping that people would be thinking about where they were, what they were doing and what they were thinking at the moment he takes the oath of office."

The group wore upside down American flags over their hearts and waved upside down flags as drivers on Southern Boulevard passed by.

"It's not being disrespectful, we don't burn flags. We believe in our flag, we believe in our country," said Gorran.

But some driving by took offense, including one man who told protesters they were being disrespectful.

“This is a patriotic example of distress. We’re all patriots," responded Gorran.

Protester Lita Boyd is a U.S. Army veteran who served three tours in the Middle East. She  says she joins movements like Standing Rock to show solidarity for veteran’s rights.

"People may agree or disagree with me, and that's OK. I am good with that. You are entitled and have your right to your own opinion,” she said.

Despite the divisiveness of this year’s election, protesters say they’re thankful to exercise their free speech.

“Is he elected is he the commander-in-chief, yes he is. But actually if you look up Theodore Roosevelt, it's my patriotic duty to protest him,” said Boyd, quoting the former president. “You don't have to support the president. You have to support your country and that's what I'm doing."

Demonstrations continue on Saturday with the Women’s March of Palm Beach County.

"I wanted to fill that need in our community,” said march organizer Star Fae.

Far said she didn't think the response would grow this big.

"Seemingly overnight we had grown to a crowd of 3,000 and I realized that this is something that our community is really dedicated to showing their support for,” she told WPTV.

After a tense election and continued division over president Trump's proposed policies, Fae said she wants to make sure women's rights are a priority in this new administration.

"It's an incredible honor to be a part of this movement, this is shaping up to be one of the largest demonstrations in united states history,” she said.

Sadie LeRay -- who plans to join the thousands at Saturday's march -- says this election motivated her to get involved.

"It hits you right in the heart because like I said before, it's not about anyone woman it's about women I haven't met. It's about women who haven't even been born yet,” she said.

Far said she’s met men and women who said they have not been involved in activism or politics since the 1970s.

“This event has awakened in them feelings that they had not experienced in decades,” she said.

Judy Guilbeault says she’s excited to join what has turned into a national movement.

"I have daughters, one in New York and one in Des Moines, Iowa. They're marching, too,” she said.

Fae says for her, this march is a part of being democracy.

"My biggest concern is for the marginalized communities in America who I think have a lot to lose,” said Fae. “It's important that we show our solidarity with them by having events like this and talking about the issues that they're facing."

West Palm Beach mayor Jeri Muoio and congressman Ted Deutch will be the guest speakers.

The march will be taking place at Meyer Amphitheater in downtown West Palm Beach from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Organizers say they expect to see up to 3,500 people there. Water will be provided.